May is tough, really tough. May is a month that will forever change my life. May is a month dedicated to brain tumor awareness and a disease that took my baby girl. That’s still surreal to even say. So today I want to share Melina because it’s Friday. But I also want to share what we mean when we say we need more than 1%.
Of all federal funding that is allocated to cancer research, only 4% of that is allotted to childhood cancer. Of that 4% only 1% percent is given to pediatric brain tumors, which is the most deadly. Therefore children are treated with adult medications. Or in Melina’s case treatment ideals that haven’t changed much in the last forty-fifty years. This is why when we started our Foundation my family said what can we do to change this. Of course I would give everything up to have Melina back but I don’t have that option. So in the end I can’t stop without being able to help families have answers. This is our “why”. This is why we joined the DIPG collaborative because we now help fund research. This is why we started a brain tumor research fund here at Akron. We are funding what isn’t there. We have to.
So this May we go gray. Today I go gray. I know my why. And today I miss her big. I miss our Starbucks and Target. I miss her laugh. I miss her. But I always say Melina gave me more gifts than I can count. 💚